TRIATHLON: FONTANA SUCCESS @TAIWAN
Daniel Fontana began life as a successful Olympic distance athlete from a swimming background in Argentina who he represented at Athens in 2004 before moving to Italy, his new home, in time to compete in the 2008 Olympics. He moved up in distance with considerable success, gaining a silver medal at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in 2009 and first IRONMAN podium in South Africa the following year. That led to 12th on debut at Hawaii in 2011 and podiums in Austria (2012), Lake Placid (2013) ahead of his maiden win at Mexico in 2014. Fontana was forced to the sidelines with injury, returning this year after achilles surgery, and like Mack, celebrated a return to IRONMAN in the most emphatic fashion.
Hungary’s Balazc Csoke opened a significant 2:21 lead out of the swim but once he was caught 70kms into the bike, Fontana sat in a bunch of six that included the remarkable 48-year-old Andreas Neidrig (DEU), top seed Patrick Evoe (USA), last week’s podium placegetters in Korea Guy Crawford (NZL), Jordan Bryden (CAN) and Swiss Patrick Jaberg.
Neidrig and Jaberg tailed off that group by the time they reached T2, but it took just 0.2 of the 42.2km run for Fontana to set the marker. He stretched to a one minute gap in the opening kilometre and by 11kms the gap was six minutes on Evoe and 11 on Jaberg, who had responded after being six minutes down off the bike.
Fontana grew the lead to 10 minutes at 21kms, with his 3:12 marathon in the extreme heat leading to an 8:40:44 and emphatic victory by 16 minutes. Japan’s noted runner, Kaito Tohara enjoyed the fastest 3:09 marathon to zoom into second place, six minutes ahead of Evoe.
TOP MALE PROS
1. Daniel FontanaITA0:51:264:32:353:12:538:40:45
2. Kaito ToharaJPN0:55:174:47:273:09:518:56:47
3. Patrick EvoeUSA0:54:144:29:463:34:289:03:17